Gary James' Interview With George Galfo Of
The Mystics are best known for the hit records "Hushabye" and "Don't Take The Stars". "Hushabye" spent nine weeks on the national charts. These guys were on the ground floor of the Rock 'n' Roll explosion in the 1950s. Today, The Mystics still perform under the name George Galfo's Mystics. George, you see, is an original member of The Mystics. Mr. Galfo talked with us about Rock 'n' Roll in the beginning.
Q - You own two beauty salons, dry cleaning plants in Florida and New York. You're a real estate agent, or you were.
A - Yeah, I was.
Q - And you're a project manager for an insurance claims company in Florida. Were you one of these guys who actually made money in Rock 'n' Roll and then turned around and invested it?
A - Well, I can't actually say that happened. (laughs)
Q - I've heard so many stories of groups being ripped off.
A - Oh, I'm sure. I've heard many, many of 'em. It was all during the same era when everybody was taken advantage of.
Q - Somewhere along the line you must've made some money to invest in all these businesses. You must be a terrific businessman.
A - (laughs) Well, I get up and go and do what I have to do.
Q - I'm guessing when you started out, your big dream was to make a record that got radio play. You probably never envisioned a career in music.
A - Actually, we never even thought about it. We were just one of the lucky ones that had a break at the right time. So, it's all timing actually.
Q - You were on Alan Freed's Big Beat Show. What kind of a guy was Alan Freed?
A - Well, he was a man who loved the music. He did whatever he could to help people in it. He just really happened to like "Hushabye". He took a liking to us and we went on his show quite a few times. In fact, he used to end his show with our song for quite some time.
Q - You appeared on American Bandstand in Philadelphia?
A - That's correct. We did it twice with Dick Clark.
Q - What year would that have been?
A - 1959.
Q - The glory years of American Bandstand.
A - Right. (laughs)
Q - It must've been a big thrill for you and the guys.
A - Oh, absolutely. He was one of the big ones to be on. Once you got on his show, you got a lot of exposure. That's what it takes to become successful.
Q - You took this name, The Mystics, because you put all of these names in a hat and one of the guys pulled out The Mystics?
A - Yes.
Q - That's kind of funny, isn't it?
A - Yes. (laughs) It is, and it stuck with us ever since, so I guess that was a lucky draw.
Q - What other names didn't get picked?
A - Oh, I don't know. Everybody picked a few names and put 'em in the pot. But like I said, it was a lucky draw. This one stuck and Laurie (Records) liked it immediately and that was our handle.
Q - The Mystics did this Cavalcade Of Stars tour and you were booked by General Artists Corporation. Do you remember the agent who was booking you?
A - Oh, I really don't. It was naturally our manager that got us in there and got everything together and pulled it off. I guess they requested to have us on the tour. It was a mid-West tour if I remember right.
Q - Who else was on that tour? Do you remember?
A - Oh, Bobby Freeman. I think The Baby Dolls. Frankie Ford. No, he was on a New England tour with us. Johnny And the Hurricanes was the band. Their names are on the tip of my tongue, but I guess my mind is tired from a busy, busy day.
Q - I ask about General Artists Corporation only because I once met an agent from GAC and he didn't have the best personality.
A - Really? Usually most of the people in the field are really gentlemen, nice people. I can't say bad things about many people I met through the years. They were all very nice to be with, socialize with. I guess you go along and you meet a couple of guys who are a little hard to get along with.
Q - You backed up Connie Francis on a record she made called "Tommy". How well did that record do for her?
A - Oh, I don't know. I really don't know how well it did, if it hit the charts at all. She had a lot of songs out at the time. They picked and chose the favorite ones.
Q - Do The Mystics perform not only in the U.S. but overseas as well?
A - Well, we haven't been overseas yet, but we've got a of couple deals cooking at the moment. We've been all over, naturally. We travel wherever it takes us, we go.
Q - Typically, where do you perform?
A - Mostly in Florida.
Q - What kind of venues?
A - Mostly multiple concert shows. Multiple acts.
Q - Are you the only original member in the group?
A - No, My uncle Phil (Cracolici) is still with me.